Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin GPSMAP 78, 78s and 78sc marine handhelds


UPDATE 2: I’ve now posted my hands on review of the Garmin GPSMAP 78s. I’ve also got a resource/review page up for the GPSMAP 78.

UPDATE I’m now doing hands on testing of the GPSMAP 78 series, which seems to be the same platform as the forthcoming 62 series.

Garmin has announced three new color marine handhelds this morning, the GPSMAP 78, 78s and 78sc. Updating the 76 series, these units support Garmin custom maps and BirdsEye imagery. The “s” models include user profiles, a tri-axial compass and wireless exchange of data between units. The flagship 78sc includes pre-loaded cartography for the coastal US. And like the 76 series, they float!

There have been rumors of an updated 60 series, but I had doubts due to the supposed 62 series numbering. That is certainly making more sense after today’s announcement. We should know soon.

Manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the GPSMAP 78 series is $299.99, $399.99 and $499.99, with all three units expected to be available in May, 2010.


The Garmin product pages are showing prices $50 less more (oops!) than stated above and in the news release. Somebody goofed one place or the other. They also confirm paperless geocaching capability. Here are the links:

Also, the image at right shows a new menu system.

Here’s the news release.

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. Makes me excited for the 62 series. The only other feature I hope the 78 and 62 series get is Wherigo caching.

  2. As someone who liked the Oregon hardware, but hated the touch screen interface, I could get behind a “62” model with a button interface, and a quad-helix antenna for better reception. Now if they could only fix their WAAS problems …

  3. With the introduction of the 78-model it seems to me that Garmin found it’s ‘track’ again; at last! I strongly resist touchscreen operation for outdoor use, moreover the overall readability of e.g. the Oregon display is insufficient. Now I’m anxiously waiting for a serious successor to my 60CSx !!! p.s. The screen size could be a bit wider to have the position indicator centered on the screen (north-up) when displaying 1 information bar on top.

    • I think you’ll see the 62 series announced in the next few days. BTW, while I agree that touchscreen visibility was pretty abysmal at first, the more recent Dakota 20 and Oregon 450 are pretty bright.

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